A BABY FILLS
A PLACE IN YOUR HEART
THAT YOU NEVER KNEW
Food Allergy vs Food Intolerence
What is the difference and can I prevent them?
There is no evidence that soy-based formula will prevent your child from developing an allergy.
It isn’t recommended that you delay introducing a food beyond 6 months of age to try to prevent an allergy.
Allergens can get into the body in different ways. They can be:
- inhaled (such as dust or pollen),
- ingested as food (some common ones are nuts, eggs or shellfish),
- ingested as medication (such as penicillin),
- injected by an insect sting (like a bee or wasp venom), or
- absorbed through the skin (such as poison ivy).
What is food intolerance?
How can I tell if my child has food intolerance?
What is lactose intolerance?
If your child is lactose intolerant, you can give her the calcium she needs by offering lactose-free or lactose-reduced milk.
While none of these items will provide enough calcium on their own, it’s also healthy to offer:
- fortified soy milk,
- canned salmon and sardines with edible bones,
- oranges or fortified orange juice,
- almonds, and
- pinto beans.
Many of these foods do not provide enough vitamin D. Talk to your doctor about whether a supplement of vitamin D would be right for your child.
When should I call the doctor?
If the allergy is confirmed, your doctor may prescribe a medication (e.g. EpiPen or Allerject), a needle that will protect your child right away if he is exposed to the allergen.
What foods are common allergens?
Any food can trigger an allergic reaction, but the most common are:
- tree nuts
Are there any foods I should avoid while breastfeeding to prevent my child from getting allergies?
Is there a particular formula I should use to prevent allergies?
Should I wait to offer common food allergens to my baby for the first time?
- It isn’t recommended that you delay introducing a food beyond 6 months of age to try to prevent an allergy. This applies even to children who are considered at high risk of developing an allergy (who have a parent or sibling with an allergic condition).
- However, once you offer these foods to your child, it’s important to continue to offer them on a regular basis.
- If you have concerns, speak to your health care provider.
How will I know if my child has a food allergy?
Most often, your child will have to eat a food more than once before you know he’s allergic. For example, the first time your child is exposed to nuts, there will probably be no reaction. If he develops an allergy to nuts, the next exposure could be more serious.
What are the signs of an allergic reaction to food?
An allergic reaction can affect many different body parts. Symptoms can include:
- itchy mouth and throat when eating certain foods,
- hives (raised red, itchy bumps on the skin),
- stomach trouble (diarrhea, cramps, nausea, vomiting),
- swelling of the face or tongue, or
- trouble breathing.
What is anaphylaxis?
What are the symptoms of anaphylaxis?
A severe allergic reaction can cause:
- difficulty breathing,
- swelling of the face, throat, lips, and tongue (in cases of food allergies),
- rapid drop in blood pressure,
- tightness of the throat,
- hoarse voice,
- light headedness.
If any of these happen to your child, go the nearest emergency department or call an ambulance immediately.